In this guide, we’ll discuss how to effectively use horror sound effects in your next super spooky project. We’ll briefly look at why good sound effects are so hard to find, the benefits of using royalty free horror sound effects, and the types of sounds that you might expect to need when creating a horror film or suspenseful project.
The short answer is that great sound effects are hard to find because they are really hard to create. A single 5 second sound effect can take that many hours to create, and more. Just like a filmmaker plans a shoot, it takes a sound designer several hours to plan and execute the recording.
For ambience sound effects, that means finding a location and letting the audio recorders run. Often, audio content producers will need to capture several hours of ambient sound (like a thunderstorm, or city sounds) to have enough material to edit down into something a film professional can import seamlessly into their projects.
For single sounds, that could be hiring an “actor” or developing a strategy, often through trial and error, for making the sound effect with the right mix of materials and techniques. And this can be much harder than it (forgive the pun…) sounds. Foley artists can use all sorts of unexpected techniques from dropping a steak on the floor to simulate a punch, to leveraging electronic instruments to create exotic effects. Often it the sound you hear and associate with an image is not what actually produced the sound.
After the initial sound is recorded, a sound designer needs to edit, edit, edit. That means filtering out unwanted noise, cleaning up starts and stops, and adding processing effects. All of this can take several more hours to produce, and lots of very expensive equipment. It’s no wonder high-quality sound effects are really hard to find. Remember this the next time you’re searching for a realistic horror sound effect!
The primary benefit of using a royalty free sound effects library for finding horror effects is cost. Sound effects can pile up, especially in large projects. But there are pros and cons to consider when weighing the option to have your sound design custom produced. Here are some benefits and disadvantages of each:
There are many different sound effects from a variety of different fx categories to consider when developing a scary project’s sound design. Horror films in particular can utilize a number of different ambiences and effects to create a truly terrifying experience.
Every horror film needs a villain, and that villain needs a weapon. From the classic knives and swords to chainsaws, hammers, and pickaxes, tool sound effects should be high on your list as a must-have for any horror production.
For ghosts and ghouls on halloween, you’ll definitely need rattling chains and metal sounds to resurrect the dead, er... undead?
No one will believe that your main character is running through the forest if you can’t hear their feet running on the ground through the leaves. Likewise, footsteps approaching, heavy breathing, and heartbeats can all ratchet up tension in horror and suspense dramas. Add in blood splatter and rustling clothing, and you have enough sound effects to create the most haunted of houses on the block to scare your Halloween Trick-or-Treaters.
No horror film is complete without a heart-attack inducing altercation between hero and villain. For that you’ll need fight sounds, including punching, stabbing, grunting, and more. Bring back the metal sounds (above) and weapons for added blood pressure increases.
Finally, don’t forget to leverage ambient sounds to help set the stage. Wind, rain, thunder, crickets, and other spooky nighttime ambience can help establish location and help your audience feel at unease.
Start your search for horror sound effects now.
No credits, no hassles, just premium royalty free sound effects.